NDP to nominate candidate for P.A. on Saturday

Community development facilitator Harmony Johnson-Harder. -- Herald file photo.

Community development facilitator Harmony Johnson-Harder will by the NDP candidate in the riding of Prince Albert, according to a media release from party.

The NDP has scheduled a formal nomination meeting at 2 p.m. in Prince Albert on Saturday to confirm her candidacy.

Johnson-Harder said she is honoured to represent the NDP in Prince Albert and area, and eager to start campaigning.

“It’s time that people had a government that was on their side delivering programs that improve the lives of people, like pharmacare,” she said in a media release. “I want to protect our environment for future generations and I want to work on issues around reconciliation that continue to have such drastic impacts on people across the Prince Albert riding.”

Johnson-Harder previously sought to run for the NDP provincially in the riding of Prince Albert Carlton, but was defeated by current nominee Troy Parenteau.

She works as a program manager at Northern Sport Culture and Recreation District, but has past experience as a manager with the Ministry of Corrections, Public Safety and Policing, where she oversaw a new restitution program and trained mediation workers.

Locally, Johnson-Harder serves on the Prince Albert Arts Board, and on the board of the Prince Albert Council for the Arts.

“I bring a fresh perspective that is grounded in hearing and understanding what the people of Prince Albert and surrounding area are experiencing,” she said.

The Daily Herald will have a full profile of Johnson-Harder following Saturday’s nomination meeting.

The other nominated candidates for the Prince Albert riding include Randy Hoback for the Conservatives, Estelle Hjertaas for the Liberals, Miranda Friske for the Greens, Kelly Day for the People’s Party of Canada and Brian Littlepine of the Veteran’s Coalition Party of Canada.

SUBHEADLINE: Federal NDP enthusiastic says Saskatchewan rep

The federal NDP have had trouble filling out their candidate list, but they remain confident about their chances in Saskatchewan.

The party only has 202 official candidates listed on their website, a number that does not include Olivier Mathieu (LaSalle-Emard-Verdun) and Dock Currie (Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo) who both stepped down shortly after the writ dropped. There are 338 ridings in Canada.

In Saskatchewan. the NDP website lists seven confirmed candidates, with Johnson-Harder slated to become the eighth.

When asked about how the late nomination will affect their electoral chances, NDP provincial secretary John Tzupa said they already have a strong team in Prince Albert that’s been active in the community.

“There’s a team that’s been working on building a campaign in P.A. for quite some time,” Tzupa said on Thursday. “They have a good active group and they’ve raised some money and they’re really working towards getting everything going and they’re going to build a campaign.”

Demoralization among Saskatchewan NDP supporters has been hotly debated topic since the expulsion of Regina-Lewvan NDP Erin Weir over sexual assault allegations. The most prominent criticism came from former NDP cabinet minister Eric Cline, a 16-year veteran of the Saskatchewan legislature, who blasted the party for how it treated Weir in a National Post column back in August.

However, Tzupa said he’s only seeing enthusiasm in Prince Albert.

“They’re really excited to work towards getting Harmony (elected) once she gets officially nominated on Saturday, and to work hard and give people an option to vote for a party and a government that’s on their side in this federal election,” he said.

The Conservatives, People’s Party of Canada and Green Party of Canada all have a full slate of candidates in Saskatchewan. The Liberals have 10 official Saskatchewan candidates listed on their website.